Fort Smith

Recording Connection Audio Institute

An Immersive
Audio Education

From production to engineering to hip-hop and Ableton, our mentor-based programs avoid the unnecessary costs and unrelated requirements of typical schools. Work directly with accomplished engineers, producers, and music industry veterans at one of our fully-equipped local studios across the country.

About Our Audio School in Fort Smith

Our fully-immersive curriculum covers all of the following:

Building Relationships

With artists, audio engineers, studio management, record labels, clients.

Audio Software

Pro Tools, Reason, Logic, Ableton Live.

Making Music

Composition, arranging, mixing, recording.

Hardware and Equipment

Analog consoles, signal processing and compressors, microphone placement.

Programs

Looking to land a career as a Music Producer? Our insider access is your opportunity to make lasting hookups to launch your career as a music producer. Learn in private sessions from a professional music producer.

Music Producing Details

From the basics of listening and microphone placement to Pro Tools and mastering, apprentice under a legendary Audio Engineer in the studio. Learn in the trenches and on the job to take your dream to the professional level.

Audio Engineering Details

Capture the music in your head with our hands-on Ableton Live curriculum featuring private training from noted EDM DJs and producers. Take your music to the professional level and get your sound in front of the decision makers at major EDM labels.

Ableton Electronic Music Details

Take your beat making and hip hop knowledge to the professional level by learning from a major Hip Hop Producer in his or her studio. Learn what separates the real-deals from the wannabes.

Hip Hop / Beat Making Details

Prepare for a career as a front-of-house engineer by apprenticing (externing) under a touring Audio Engineer. If you goal is to get inside the music industry and tour the world, this recording program is for you.

Live Sound Details

Our Live DJ Apprentice Program pairs you with a working, touring DJ, who’ll tutor you on what it takes to succeed on the world’s biggest stages. It's the ultimate all-access pass to the music-performance business. Get schooled in one-on-one lessons from a working, touring DJ.

Live DJ Details

Turn your passion and ear for music into a career by understanding the world of managers, agents, royalties, copyrights, 360 deals and more. ou can't get more inside music business access than this course. Become a music Mogul.

Music Business Details

Learn Post Audio while apprenticing under a Post Production Specialist in their recording studio. If working on movie, TV and video game soundtracks sounds like an incredible career, this course is for you.

Post Production for Film and TV Details

Learn advanced audio techniques in overdubbing, mixdown and mastering. Apprentice under a legendary audio engineer/music producer/mixer while gaining an insider's access to the music industry. Take your existing skills to the next level while building connections.

Advanced Audio Details

Collaborate with legendary music producers and learn from the most qualified professionals in the industry, who’ve crafted records for U2, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Hole, Nirvana, Ozzy Osbourne and hundreds more.

Learn from Legends Details

Learn Ableton, Logic or Pro Tools. Apprentice under a legendary electronic music composer, dance music producer, or touring DJ in their studio. Gain insider access to the electronic music scene. You tell us your favorite genres of electronic music, and we will help you produce that type of music.

Electronic Music Production Details

Fast track your career with certification credentials in Pro Tools. By getting yourself tested and certified you are showing over 5,000 Producers and Engineers worldwide that you have what it takes to work for them as both and an assistant engineer and an Engineer/Producer.

Audio Certification Details

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Our Fort Smith Studio Locations

  • Arkoma
  • Barling
  • Moffett
  • Central City
  • Van Buren
  • Kibler
  • Alma
  • Greenland
  • Shady Grove
  • Farmington
  • Johnson
  • Rogers
  • Wheeler
  • Tontitown
  • Elm Springs
  • Harmon
  • Goshen
  • Lowell
  • Cave Springs
  • Habberton
  • Bentonville
  • Centerton
  • Osage Mills
  • Prairie Creek
Schedule a Tour

Learn 1 on 1

Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers
Recording Studios

Schedule a Tour

Visit a Studio
In Fort Smith

Get started with a tour of one of our Arkansas studios. Or call us for more information at 800-755-7597

Music Scene in Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Recording Connection

Congratulations–you’ve just found the most innovative and cost-effective recording school available in the Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale Rogers region of Arkansas! We’re the RECORDING CONNECTION, the only recording school that gets you inside an actual recording studio in Ft. Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale or Rogers, where you will train as a recording studio student apprentice (extern) and learn your choice of audio engineering, mixing, music production, live audio, electronic music-and its many sub-genres (dub step, trance, drum and bass, techno and more), post production audio and electronic DJ. In the Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale Rogers area, the best gateway into the recording industry is by working as an apprentice (extern) in a local recording studio. We’re the school that can make that happen.

Why spend 20-50 thousand dollars to go to a recording trade school when you can spend far less money and go to recording school in a real recording studio? Get on the inside track, learn from the pros, and get connected as you get educated. Our audio recording school is the smartest, most cost efficient program on the market today.

To APPLY for our Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale Rogers Recording School, click here.

The cities of Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers anchor what is becoming known as the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area, a hub of commerce and one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country. A little more than an hour’s drive to the south, the city of Ft. Smith anchors its own metro area. These regions of west and northwest Arkansas are home to a growing and vibrant music community; some of the bands are in keeping with Arkansas heritage of country, rockabilly and bluegrass, but in recent years bands have emerged in more modern genres, including rock, alternative, and even metalcore.

The Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale Rogers area is home to numerous live music venues and recording studios which accommodate the needs of the growing musical community in this region.  If you are looking at a career in audio as a recording engineer, live audio engineer or music producer, there is plenty of activity in this area to keep you busy.

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Meet our Mentors

Produce music with the industry's finest mentors and musicians.

James Salone Fort Smith Producer / Engineer

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James Salone Fort Smith Producer / Engineer

Background

Salone Studio is a quality recording studio located in Jackson, Mississippi. We have engineers who record,mix,and master. If you need a great creative environment and perfection at a great price, Salone Studio is the place for you. Our staff is eager to work hard to meet your needs. We are the “go to” recording studio for musicians and producers who need a prestigious product.

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Artists

Jarekus Singleton
The Mississippi Mass Choir
New Jerusalem Mass Choir
Stephen Johnson
Benjamin Cone III

Larry Goetz Fort Smith Engineer

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Larry Goetz Fort Smith Engineer

Artists

Katy Perry
Ke$ha
One Direction
Weezer
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
3OH3
All Time Low
Big Time Rush
Mike Posner
Pixie Lott
All Star Weekend
David Archuleta
David Cook
Chord Overstreet
Bowling for Soup
Breathe Carolina
The Pussycat Dolls
Lauren Bennett
Alejandro Escovedo
John Cale
The Maine
Forever The Sickest Kids
A Rocket To The Moon
Emily Osment
Julian Casablancas
Rivers Cuomo
Soulfly
Cavalera Conspiracy
OTEP
HIM
Dommin
The Used
Alexndra Burke
Best Coast
Cady Groves
This Providence
Monty RI
Axis Of Awesome
Edgar Winter
Sarah Evans
Maia Sharp
Edwin McCain
The Ready Set
Buzz Feiten
Albert Lee
Guitar Shorty

Israel Lliteras Fort Smith Mentor

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Israel Lliteras Fort Smith Mentor

Background

Israel Lliteras is a Los Angeles native and graduate of the LA Film School. Israel has been around the art and film industry his entire life. He began his career as an artist, successfully selling his works of art throughout the United States. With his artistic skills, he delved into the world of motion pictures. There, he found his passion for creating art on a timeless canvas such as film. Israel has worked on several projects in a variety of rolls and departments. By experiencing first hand the many key rolls that a production encompasses, Israel has a true understanding of the big picture.

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Lionel Pedro Fort Smith Mentor

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Lionel Pedro Fort Smith Mentor

Background

Lionel is a great guy to work with… known for making the session as memorable as the final tracks. He has a critical ear and a dedication to detail that makes clients feel every aspect of their project will receive the same attention from start to finish.

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Artists

Ginger Grey
White Van
Low Orbit
Amity Beach
High Top Society
Frank Turner
The Gravity Within
Spitfist
TheCounterPoint
Paul Price
AntiTrust Division
Johnny Rourke

Russell Wolff Fort Smith Producer

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Russell Wolff Fort Smith Producer

Background

Musical Octopus, Russell Wolff. A Harvard grad who has been involved in many aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. Producer, singer, songwriter, musician, author, DJ/MC, photographer, wedding officiant, actor, and owner of Krazy Pop Studio on Historic Music Row in Nashville TN.

He began his career in the theater, on stages in NYC; later opening and touring with bands signed to Atlantic Records, playing to sold out venues throughout the United States and Europe and releasing 6 albums. In the years since, he has produced upwards of 30 albums, worked with everyone from LL Cool J to Martina McBride, licensed music with MTV, built relationships throughout Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston and New York and has used those relationships to propel the careers of various artists. He is a voting member of the Grammys in four categories as well as a member of ASCAP.

Wolff tours on piano, guitar, vocal and is available to run sound for tours. You can see him in clips online playing with Martina McBride, as well as on Fox Morning News, PBS, and in shows with Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Michelle Branch, Little Big Town, and YOUR next project. Recently produced, mixed, and toured with James Wolpert of NBC’s The Voice & sound for Lilly Winwood.

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Artists

Sugarland
Miranda Lambert
Michelle Branch
Little Big Town
James Wolpert / NBC's The Voice
Lilly Winwood

Zarven Kara Fort Smith Producer / Engineer

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Zarven Kara Fort Smith Producer / Engineer

Background

Zarven Kara is the engineer, producer and manager of Reel to Reel Studios and has worked in most facets of the music industry throughout Europe and Australia. He earned his living working in the clubs of Germany as a jazz guitarist and composer, and gained valuable insight and experience inside some of Germany’s finest studios.

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Chris Steinmetz Fort Smith Engineer / Producer

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Chris Steinmetz Fort Smith Engineer / Producer

Background

Chris Steinmetz has over 30 years of experience in the record industry and has worked on gold, platinum, and grammy nominated albums. Steinmetz began his career working as an assistant engineer for Warner Bros. Records in L.A., and began freelancing his work as well before moving back to his native Chicago.

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Artists

Kiss
Alice in Chains Jay-Z
Black Eyed Peas
Smashing Pumpkins
Kanye West
Disturbed
Suicidal Tendencies
Jimmy Buffet
Feist
Andrea Boccelli
Queen Latifah
Styx
Lupe Fiasco
Young Jeezy
Miles DavisTwista
Lil’ Jon
Usher
Tori Amos
Mavis Staples
E-Dub
Jin
Do or Die
Rod Stewart
Common
The Cult
Koko Taylor
Koko Taylor
Faster Pussycat
Lovehammers
311Madonna
R. Kelly
Limp Bizkit
Alacranes Musical
NAS
Verve Pipe
Crucial Conflict
Fantasia
Keith Washington
B.B. King
Honeymoon Suite
Albert Collins
White Lion
Paul Simon
Sones De Mexico
Crowded House

Oscar Diaz Fort Smith Engineer

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Oscar Diaz Fort Smith Engineer

Background

Manage a team of recording engineers and interns to successfully record musicians and voice over artists. Record voice-over for commercials and sound design. Oversaw construction of two new studios, acquired all materials and managed labor through completion. Expanded the market to reach advertising agencies and production companies through multiple marketing channels. Maintain and troubleshoot equipment.

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Artists

Dr. Dre
E-40
Gucci Mane
Jay-Z
Mariah Carey
Mary J. Blige
MC Hammer
Rick Ross
Snoop Dogg
TLC
Too $hort
Warren G
YG
Waka Flocka
Google
YouTube
Dreamworks
HBO
FOX
Showtime
King of the Hill
Apple Inc.
Grand Theft Auto
UC Berkeley

Sharrief Thomas Fort Smith Songwriter / Producer

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Sharrief Thomas Fort Smith Songwriter / Producer

Background

Most of the time, building a career requires moving, evolving, and learning over time. One’s “career” is the byproduct of work that’s done in the present, the things you do while you’re in the pocket, perfecting your craft.

Sharrief Thomas knows about this intimately. This writer/producer/engineer and artist in his own right was exposed to the Recording Connection program when he was recording at Quad Studios in New York City. Seeing our program at work led Sharrief to become a mentor himself. Today he helps our students hone their chops, gain skills, and plan for their futures while gleaning a first-hand understanding of how the music industry works from a creative and business perspective at Water Music Publishing, an independent music publishing and media company run by Sharrief and business partner Big Bug, whose known for his work with Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Sean Combs, and as one of the original members of the 90s R&B group, Today.

While recording at Quad, Sharrief and another Recording Connection mentor, Sax DMA, decided to give a number of RC apprentices the opportunity to earn engineering credits on his forthcoming album. “We had to turn down kids that wanted to join,” Sharrief says. And a number of notable artists came in to help on vocals including Sky Heavens, backup singer for Eminem, and Big Bub himself. “It was just the students getting to be in a live situation with real, live artists.”

Today, as a Recording Connection mentor himself, Sharrief apprentices students at Water Music Publishing in Bloomfield, NJ, just outside of New York City.

Articles

RC mentor Sharrief Thomas Talks Truth on Having the Winning Mindset

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Artists

Snoop Dogg
AMG/Universal
Water Music Publishing

Gradie O’Neal Fort Smith Engineer

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Gradie O’Neal Fort Smith Engineer

Background

Tiki Recording Studios was established in 1967 when the name was drawn out of a hat. CEO Gradie O’Neal has been a legendary engineer in the Bay Area and well respected. Many name groups have come through the doors and have recorded here. Jeannine O’Neal joined the company in the 80’s and has been an experienced music producer for the company. Both have recorded gold albums.

Two complete professional recording studios. Studio A-large recording room for bands with isolated drummers booth and singers booth. 91/2′ concert grand piano, excellent selection of microphones. Studio B- Production & Mixing facility. If you are a singer/songwriter/musician and need music behind you, let Jeannine create the arrangement of your dreams.

LP & cassette transfers to CD, Add your voice to Karaoke tracks for your family and friends, Career & internet music marketing consultation available. Call for prices and hours Many creative people have come through the doors of Tiki Studios-O’Neal Productions.

A bit of history, Tiki Studios was created by Gradie O’Neal and several partners back in 1967. We have survived many recessions, economy downturns, booms, you name it we’ve seen it and still survived by the grace of God. Tiki originally was on the corner of 17th and Julian St. in San Jose, Ca. and was in that location until 1985 where we moved into a much larger facility. The name Tiki came from Gradie and his partners at that time were trying to come up with a name for the new studio.

Everyone threw names in a hat and out popped Tiki. So for all these years, we have held on to the name and now added O’Neal Productions to the mix. The new facility offered two studios instead of one. One studio Studio A is the large room for bands to record. Studio B is the smaller music production and mixing room. Tiki in their beginning careers has recorded people such as Santana, Bill Withers, Lydia Pence of Cold Blood, Grupo Vennus, Los Aquario. We have also done many Gospel recording artists such as Lillie Knauls, Danni Bell and more. Many others (too many to name them all) have recorded throughout the years.

Both studios record many styles from Rock to world music heard throughout the world. Jeannine produces a wide variety of styles from African, South American, Vietnamese, Tibetan, Persian, India, Mexican you name it we’ve done it. That’s the beauty of music, it’s all the language we understand. More to come.

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Artists

Santana
Bill Withers
Lydia Pence of Cold Blood
Grupo Vennus
Los Aquario
Lillie Knauls
Danni Bell

Tony Ricci Fort Smith Producer

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Tony Ricci Fort Smith Producer

Background

Tony Ricci is a veteran music producer with over 20 years experience and 6 Grammy Considerations since 2005. Tony is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tony was the staff Sound Designer at the TONY Award winning Trinity Repertory Company in Providence RI for two years, dealing with all aspects of Theatre production sound and also composing original music for the world premier of the play Reckless. He has worked with all styles of music including rock, metal, pop, country, jazz, world, urban, classical and folk. In addition to his studio work, Tony is an audio instructor at New England Institute Of Technology.

Tony’s production style is based on capturing what makes each artist unique and recognizable, and creating showpiece mixes. He is currently looking for artists who have strong songs, true passion for their music and a desire to take their career to the next level.

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Artists

Kari Tieger
Godless Rising
Necrosis
Godspeed
Shryne

“Learn from Legends” represents the next level in pairing a talented aspiring media-arts student with a world-class professional who can act both as a mentor and a role model, providing the student with a learning experience that most hopefuls in the world of music production can only dream of.

Recording Connection Student

Tuition
Comparison

Recording Connection’s unique mentor-style education is far more cost-effective than trade schools or traditional colleges and on average, requires less financing (based on national averages). Compare the true costs of education.

 

Learn More About Tuition
$9,800 Tuition
$0* Loan Interest

Trade
School

$44,000 Tuition
$61,000 Loan Interest

2-Year
Junior College

$22,000 Tuition
$20,500 Loan Interest

4-Year
Traditional College

$88,000 Tuition
$122,000 Loan Interest

Average Accrued Interest Charges
Sources: Sallie Mae student loan calculator - Nerd Wallet - Best Value Schools - Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Learn From Industry Pros

Professionals in the music business—including famous producers and audio engineers who’ve worked on the music that inspires you—endorse Recording Connection’s audio programs for one simple reason: they know our immersive hands-on method works.

Rolling Stones

Learn one on one from engineers and producers who have worked with The Rolling Stones

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Deadmau5

Learn from the Engineer that records Deadmau5

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Taylor Swift

Learn music production from Taylor Swift’s music producer.

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Skrillex

Learn audio from the producers and engineers that have worked with Skrillex.

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Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s Producer is a mentor for the Recording Connection

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Jack White

An Engineer for Jack White teaches Recording Connection students

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Beyoncé

Beyoncé’s Audio Engineer is a Recording Connection Mentor

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Larry King

Larry King endorses the Recording Radio and Film Connection.

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Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer endorses the Recording Connection’s mentor-apprentice learning approach.

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Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg’s producers teach our students.

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John Mayer

John Mayer’s audio engineer is a teacher for Recording Connection

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U2

Audio Engineer for U2 is a Recording Connection Teacher

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View Full List

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Get Educated,
Get Access,
Get Hired.

With the right experience and connections, you can jumpstart your career in the music industry.


The Fort Smith, Arkansas

Recording Connection Audio School Advantage

1

We’ve Got Locations Everywhere.

The Recording Connection audio engineering school has locations all over the world. We have sound technician schools in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In Arkansas, we have locations in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Little Rock and others.

The other guys don't come close. Advantage: Recording Connection.

2

Our Low Tuition Keeps You Out of Debt.

Our tuition is low because we put your money to use paying for your education. We only use it to pay for your mentor, your books, your in-studio recording sessions, and your workplace placement. We don’t waste it on ad campaigns or useless campus beautification. Low tuition means little or no student debt.

The other guys not only cost more, they have lots of add-on charges. Advantage: Recording Connection.

3

Great Classrooms Inside Real Recording Studios.

Have you ever wanted to escape a classroom? Of course you have; everyone hates being in those awful dusty rooms. That’s why we put you in a real recording studio instead. You’re not going to want to go home! Our audio mixing school will make you a master craftsman while you’re working.

Advantage: Recording Connection.

4

One-on-One Learning.

In the Recording Connection, you’ll be learning everything there is to know about the business and art of music production. You’ll be taught one on one by a mentor who’s been in the biz for decades.

With us, you are always number one. Advantage: Recording Connection.

5

Our Mentors Have Lots Of Gold Records.

Our mentor are awesome. They are hard working, successful individuals who are attempting to give back and help the next generation get a leg up. We only hire and partner with mentors who are well-respected industry veterans..

Their teachers listen to the Gold Records our teachers produce. Advantage: Recording Connection.

6

Job Placement Assistance Program.

The Recording Connection makes sure that you have everything you need to succeed. That’s why we have instituted a job placement program to help you find work. For up to 12 months after you graduate, we’ll help you find a job. Free of charge.

The other guys give you a cold-call lead list when you graduate. Advantage: Recording Connection.

7

The Only School Recommended By Thousands of Pros.

We’re the go-to recommendation for thousands of industry professionals. They all say the same thing: “It Works.” That’s because it does. Our program has a 71% job placement rate. What does that tell you?

You can count the number of pros who recommend the other guys on one hand. Advantage: Recording Connection.

8

From Day One, You’re On The Inside.

From the first day of our program you’ll be on the inside trackas a working apprentice (extern) inside a real recording studio. You’ll be making connections and showcasing your skills to the people in power. Wherever there’s a job opening, it’s basically yours, if you prove yourself in the studio.

The other guys are on the outside, looking in. Advantage: Recording Connection.

9

Free Tutoring.

The Film Connection sound mixing school offers a completely free tutoring program. It’s really as simple as that. It’s not that complicated. It’s free. And unlimited

Unlimited free tutoring. Advantage: Recording Connection.

10

Connections.

The connections that you’ll gain in our program are the most important part of it. You’ll be working with industry pros who will know you and like you, and eventually they’ll recommend you for an open position. We put you in the right place; you just need to find the right time.

Real world music industry connections. Big Advantage: Recording Connection.